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Volunteers drive Burbank float, start to finish

December 26, 2012|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene@tchekmedyian@latimes.com
(Ross A. Benson )

More than 200 volunteers are expected to flock to the Burbank Water and Power campus in the coming days to lay 12,000 roses on the city’s 45-foot-long, volunteer-built float for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

Keeping in line with this year’s theme — “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” — Burbank will take parade-goers on a “deep-sea adventure.”

Steven Edward — the vice president of the Burbank Rose Float Assn. who’s been involved in creating the city’s float since 1990 — said he loves the annual challenge and the lifelong friends he makes along the way.

“Every year is fresh,” Edward said. “We get together [and say], ‘How are we going to take this black-and-white drawing and make it into this 3-D vehicle?’”

This year’s float features a young girl piloting a submarine that’s being pulled by three seahorses.

“It’s going to come to life,” Edward said, adding that the float will feature a puffer fish “that actually puffs,” an octopus tour guide and a sea turtle.

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Mission Viejo resident Richard Burrow designed the float.

Yearlong fundraising efforts and grant funds are financing the $82,000 float, Edward said.

“That’s a very cheap cost because there are no labor charges,” Edward said, adding that Burbank is one of six completely volunteer-built floats.

Burbank’s floats have nabbed awards in the last three parades — in January, the city’s “Dream Machine” float brought home the coveted Mayor’s Trophy.

Edward hopes that tradition lives on.

“I think we have a good possibility of taking home a trophy,” he said.

The float will be on display at the corner of Olive Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank from Jan 3. to 6.

For information on how to volunteer, visit www.burbankrosefloat.com.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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